• [FOAR] The power supply connector dance contest... (11/21)

    From FOAR via rec.radio.info Admin@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 18 13:48:30 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    Not only is there a risk of injury, why make the experience harder than it needs to be? Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging a
    workplace to fit the user. It's a deliberate process. You have to actually
    stop to consider how you are using a space, in this case your shack.

    At the moment I'm experimenting with different aspects of the layout of my shack. For example, I started with a layout of the computer, counter
    intuitive perhaps, since we're talking about a radio shack, but given that
    I'm spending much of my time doing contests and digital modes, the computer
    is used much more than the radio is, even if the radio is what's making all
    the on-air noise.

    After making sure that my keyboard, mouse and screen were in locations that actually helped me, I started trying to figure out where to put the radio
    and what role it actually plays in making the contact. If during a contest you're using search and pounce, which is when you hunt up and down the
    bands looking for a contact, you might argue that you'll need access to the radio to change frequency, but if you already have your computer connected
    to the radio, you can change frequency from the keyboard or by control with your mouse.

    Another way I'm looking on reducing the amount of stress to my body whilst operating my station is by sorting out audio. Almost every radio has a
    speaker on it, but if you've got more than one going at the same time it becomes really difficult to determine which one is actually making noise
    and even harder if multiple stations are on different frequencies on
    different radios at the same time.

    You could wear headphones and select a radio, one at a time, either by
    plugging in a particular radio, or by using a selector. If you're using
    digital modes, the audio might already be going into the computer, which
    offers you the ability to select from different sound cards, but there are other options. I'm working on plugging the audio from each radio into an
    audio mixer that will allow me to set the level for each radio
    independently, mute at will, set the tone, the balance between left and
    right ear and a few other things.

    For a microphone I plan on using the same mixer and I'm working on how to
    have my digital audio coming from the computer incorporated into the same
    audio environment, because the digital audio could just as easily be a
    voice caller using the same system.

    For push to talk I settled on a foot switch a couple of years ago. That
    said, if I'm on my own, I tend to use VOX, or voice operated switching,
    which turns on the transmitter when microphone audio is detected by the
    radio. This will need some careful planning if I'm going to connect
    multiple radios, since I don't want to transmit the same message across
    each radio at the same time, but with computer control, that too can be addressed.

    My point is that we have lots of technology available to us as radio
    amateurs to achieve what ever we need to. It takes extra effort to decide
    how you might go about making your environment a place where you can safely
    sit and operate without making life harder than it needs to be.

    What kinds of different techniques and technologies have you used to make
    your shack a more comfortable environment? Do you spend your days hunting
    DX, doing contests or making digital contacts, or something else? Have you considered how you might improve the layout of your shack to suit your particular use-case and when was the last time you checked to see if the decisions you originally made are still valid today?

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210502.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    How much bandwidth is there?

    Posted: 24 Apr 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    Have you ever taken a moment to consider the available bandwidth on the
    various amateur bands?

    As an entrant into amateur radio in Australia as a Foundation licence
    holder you have access to six different amateur bands, the 80m band, 40m,
    15m, 10m, 2m and 70cm. If you add the bandwidth from each of those bands together, you end up with 26.65 MHz worth of bandwidth to play with in Australia.

    I can tell you that's a big chunk of bandwidth, but until I give you some context, 26.65 MHz isn't likely something that you can picture.

    You might think of things as being pretty crowded. For example, on the 40m
    band during a contest it's common to hear wall to wall signals. There's
    barely enough room to call CQ and not interfere with anyone else. But how crowded is it really?

    Let's start with an SSB signal, typically it's 2.4 kHz wide. On the 40m
    band, with 300 kHz of bandwidth, there's room for about 125 SSB signals side-by-side. On the 10m band, there's space for over 700 SSB signals side-by-side. Across all the available bandwidth for a Foundation license holder in Australia, there's room for over 11-thousand different SSB
    signals side-by-side.

    While we're on the subject of crowding, there's talk about the massive
    influx of FT8, some call it a scourge. FT8 channels are transmitted within
    a single SSB channel and each takes up 50 Hz. That means that within an SSB channel of 2.4 kHz, there's room for 48 different FT8 channels, and if you
    take into account the odd and even time-slots, that doubles to 96 different signals, all within the same single SSB channel. So while FT8 is popular
    and growing, let's not get too excited about how much space it's taking up.
    From the perspective of an Australian Foundation license holder, it's
    taking up exactly six separate SSB slots of those 11-thousand across the
    six available bands, room for 576 separate FT8 signals, taking up a total
    of 14.4 kHz, or 0.05% of the available bandwidth.

    Let's look at this another way, of the 26.65 MHz available bandwidth, 20
    MHz is from the 70cm band alone, that means that all the other bands put together, fit inside the 70cm band three times over.

    Let that sink in for a moment, adding the 80m, 40m, 15m, 10m and 2m band together fit inside the 70cm band three times.

    You can use the 70cm band alone for 800-thousand FT8 signals, remember that there's two time slots, so you get two for one.

    If this makes your mind explode, then consider that a carrier wave signal
    is considered to be about 25 Hz wide, so on the 70cm band you could have 800-thousand individual CW signals. You could allocate a personal CW
    frequency to every one of the amateurs in the United States in the 70cm
    band and still have room for expansion, not that I'm advocating that, just
    to give you a sense of scale. I should note that the 70cm band in the
    United States is even larger than it is in Australia, but I don't want to
    get bogged down into the various band plans across the world at the moment.

    You might ask yourself why am I getting so excited about this?

    Amateur radio is about experimentation. I've been telling you about HF propagation and using techniques like FT8 to determine just how far your
    signal goes, but you could use the same techniques to build a 70cm communication network with the amateurs within your city and share
    information across the city, perhaps even build a mesh network using your
    70cm hand-held and an FT8-call network. It could be used to distribute propagation information, or messages in case of an emergency, or form the
    basis of something completely different.

    If that doesn't whet your appetite, consider that the 1mm amateur band,
    which runs from 241 to 250 GHz is ready for you to experiment when your
    license permits. The current world distance record is 114 km, set in 2008
    by Brian WA1ZMS and Peter W4WWQ, it has 9 GHz bandwidth and has room for 360-million FT8 signals, or 60 exclusive FT8 channels for every amateur on
    the planet.

    My point is that as radio amateurs we have access to a massive chunk of
    radio bandwidth and it's just sitting there waiting for you to experiment

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210425.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    The massive physics phenomenon just over eight minutes away ...

    Posted: 17 Apr 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    If you've been around radio amateurs for a little while you're likely to
    have heard about the Solar Cycle and that it affects radio propagation for
    HF or High Frequency, also known as shortwave communications. The
    frequencies in the range of around 3 to 30 MHz, or 100m to 10m wavelength.
    One of the main ways it's used is for is for long distance or global communication and one of the most common ways that's done is using the ionosphere around the globe to refract a radio signal.

    In September 2020, the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, announced that
    Solar Cycle 25 had commenced in December 2019 and radio amateurs around the globe rejoiced.

    The first question for me was, why Solar Cycle 25?

    You might think of the Sun as a stable light in the sky. As it happens, the bright light hides all manner of ferocious activity. One of the measures of this activity is the number of dots observed on the surface of our Star.
    These dots are called sunspots. As Solar activity increases, the number of sunspots increases. The activity is cyclical, it increases and decreases
    over time. Each increase and decrease combined is known as a Solar Cycle.

    On average a cycle lasts about 10.7 years. Simple maths gives you that
    Solar Cycles started somewhere around 1750. That seems a little strange.
    Our Sun is 4.6 billion years old. There are paintings on the rocks at Ubirr
    in the Northern Territory of Australia that are 40 thousand years old. The pyramids in Egypt are 45 hundred years old. The Solar Cycle has been going
    for a lot longer than the 7 million years there have been humans on the
    planet, let alone dinosaurs who experienced the Solar Cycle 66 million
    years ago. Using fossil records we've determined that the Solar Cycle has
    been stable for at least the last 700 million years.

    Chinese astronomers recorded Solar activity around 800 BC and Chinese and Korean astronomers frequently observed sunspots but no known drawings exist
    of these observations. The first person to draw sunspots was John of
    Worcester on the 8th of December 1128. Five days later, half a world away
    in Korea on the 13th of December 1128, the astronomers in Songdo reported a
    red vapour that "soared and filled the sky", describing the aurora borealis
    in the night sky that resulted from those very same sunspots.

    In the early 1600's there was plenty of activity around the recording of sunspots. Thomas Harriot appears to have predated Galileo Galilei by more
    than a year with notes and drawings dated the 8th of December 1610. There's plenty of other names during this period, Father and son David and Johannes Fabricius and Christoph Scheiner to name three, but I'm moving on.

    The Solar Cycle, was first described by Christian Horrebow who more than a century later in 1775 wrote: "it appears that after the course of a certain number of years, the appearance of the Sun repeats itself with respect to
    the number and size of the spots". Recognition of the Solar Cycle was
    awarded to Samuel Heinrich Schwabe who noticed the regular variation in the number of sunspots and published his findings in a short article
    entitled "Solar Observations during 1843" in which he suggested that the
    cycle was 10 years.

    Stay with me, we're getting close to Solar Cycle number One.

    In 1848 Rudolf Wolf devised a way to quantify sunspot activity. His method, named the Wolf number, is still in use today, though we call it the
    relative or international sunspot number. In 1852 he published his findings
    on all the available data on sunspot activity going back to 1610 and
    calculated the average Solar Cycle duration as 11.11 years. He didn't have enough observations to reliably identify Solar Cycles before 1755, so the 1755-1766 Solar Cycle is what we now consider Solar Cycle number One
    lasting 11.3 years with a maximum of 144.1 sunspots in June of 1761.

    Until 2009 it was thought that there had been 28 Solar Cycles between 1699
    and 2008 with an average duration of 11.04 years, but it appears that the
    15 year Solar Cycle between 1784 and 1799 was actually two cycles, making
    the average length only 10.7 years. I should also point out that there have been Solar Cycles as short as 8 years and as long as 14 years.

    With the announcement of Solar Cycle 25 comes improved propagation for
    anyone who cares to get on air and make noise. The current predictions vary depending on the method used, ranging from a very weak to a moderate Solar Cycle 25. There are predictions for the Solar maximum, the time with the
    most sunspot activity, to occur between 2023 and 2026 with a sunspot range between 95 and 130. By comparison during the previous Solar Cycle, in 2011
    the first peak hit 99 and the second peak in 2014 hit 101.

    I have purposely stayed away from electromagnetic fields, geomagnetic
    impacts and the actual methods for HF propagation, I'll look at those
    another time.

    I can tell you that we've gone a little beyond counting dots on the Sun to determine activity and we have a whole slew of satellites orbiting our Star doing all manner of scientific discovery, all of which helps our
    understanding of what's going on in the massive physics phenomenon 8
    minutes and 20 seconds away by radio.

    That said, Solar eruptions are still pretty unpredictable, much like the weather around us. Not because we don't want to know, but because this is a very complex one to solve, much like ionospheric propagation is hard to forecast, much easier to measure actual performance and much more accurate.

    So, if you want to know how well propagation is going to be today, turn on
    your radio and have a listen. If you want to know how great it's going to
    be tomorrow, look at the forecast, but bring an umbrella, or an FT8 transmitter.

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB.
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210418.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    The dynamic nature of your shack

    Posted: 10 Apr 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    If you have the opportunity to build your shack, it might start off as a
    table in the corner where you plonk down a radio, plug into nearby power
    and run coax to. That's pretty much how most shacks start, mine included.

    For me the step of running coax was an activity that took weeks of planning
    and procrastination and days of climbing on the roof. After actually
    completing that and getting two runs of coax to my planned shack, one for
    HF and one for UHF and VHF, the shack building itself was pretty simple.

    I had to get power to the location, but an extension lead took care of
    that. In the interest of space I put the power supply on the floor, a
    wooden floor that ensured good circulation, unlike carpet, perhaps a topic
    for another day, I plugged my coax into the radio, plugged in the 12 Volt
    power and was up and running.

    Over time that space continued to grow. Looking at it right now, it has two computer monitors, a laptop, three radios, two coax switches, a keyboard, mouse, digital interface, two speakers, and a fan to cool the radio when
    I'm calling CQ on FT8.

    I'm not a messy person, but I do like to have my tools convenient. It's not
    a pristine environment by any stretch, but it's orderly as shacks go. An
    hour ago it wasn't, actually, looking at the clock, that was four hours
    ago. Time flies when you're having fun.

    My shack is the centre of my radio activities. I might receive a gadget
    from a friend to test and I'll put it on my desk ready to go. The same is
    true for a foot pedal that I found when looking for something else, as is
    the audio adaptor that I used in the desk mixer that I'm experimenting with.

    Over time each of these bits and pieces accumulate on the surface.

    When I noticed that my radio was running hot, or in my mind uncomfortably
    warm, given that I'm using 5 Watts, I decided to invest in a fan, clipped
    to the edge of the desk requiring yet another wire.

    It's not limited to small bits. I'm testing a new radio, that comes with removable head, a microphone, cables to join those to the main body, two antenna port cables, a coax switch and a power lead with two cables.

    Over time you have coax mixed with 12 Volt DC and 240 Volt AC, audio leads,
    USB leads, video leads, grounding wire, remote control switches, microphone leads, CAT leads and more, all running all over the place.

    Making a minor change can become a big hassle, making it hard to determine
    what goes where, not to mention that each cable generates it's own little
    slice of RF, wanted or not.

    The four hours I've just spent consisted of taking everything except the
    bolted on computer monitors off the desk and starting from scratch.

    I also did this when I first added a second radio, but that was so long ago that the "system" I implemented then was unrecognisable. Doing it again
    today I made better use of the environment and changed some things around.
    I started with the 240 Volts requirements, then the coax, then 12 Volts,
    then audio and finally USB, using cable ties for semi-permanent things like power boards and hook and loop straps for things that move more frequently
    like audio wiring and video cables.

    It's not perfect. I'm looking for some flexible coax patch leads, there's
    USB cables going every which way, the laptop keyboard isn't used, so why
    use a laptop, no doubt I'll discover more.

    My point is that this is dynamic and every now and then it pays to spend a little while putting things back together.

    My next project is to use an audio mixer to bring all the audio together in
    one place so I can use one headset for everything and give me the
    opportunity to plug in a tape recorder as my regulator suggests for
    monitoring emergency communications, though I might have to come up with something a little less 1980 for the actual recording.

    If you're going to do this, move the desk at least a meter from the wall so
    you can get at the back of your shack, you can thank me later.

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210411.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    When you just have to try things ...

    Posted: 03 Apr 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    A little while ago I was gifted a new radio, well, new to me. A Kenwood TS-480HX. It's an all mode HF transceiver with 6m. Does 200 Watts, but you
    know me, I'm into QRP, low power, so I first had to figure out how to dial
    the transmitter down to 5 Watts and that was after figuring out how to feed
    the dual power supplies from one source and have the fuses work as expected.

    When I received the radio, I took stock of all the bits that it was packed with, all complete, all the accessories, even the user manual was
    laminated. The previous owner, Walter VK6BCP (SK) whom I never met was an amateur after my own heart. I've talked about how he meticulously
    documented his alterations to a power supply for example.

    Previously I've taken this radio on holidays to operate portable in a field day. The experience was underwhelming, in that I didn't hear anyone and
    nobody responded to my CQ calls. At the time I put it down to a poor
    antenna and unfamiliarity with the radio, despite reading the manual, well,
    at least scanning it.

    Today I finally set some time aside to do some more testing. I decided that
    the first step would be to actually set it up in my shack, next to my
    trusty Yaesu FT-857d and see how it performs in comparison.

    So, I plugged everything in, found a coax switch so I could switch the
    antenna between the two radios and learned that the audio connector that
    I've been using for digital modes on the Yaesu is actually compatible with
    the Kenwood. Now I need to make another adaptor for this radio, but in the meantime I can move the audio plug between radios when I swap.

    In doing this I learnt a few things.

    One is that there's plenty of scope for things to break.

    For example, I was reaching over the desk to plug a connector into the coax switch when I leaned on the keyboard and touched the space bar. This caused
    the radio that I was working on to start its tuning cycle without an
    antenna connected. Fortunately I was using 5 Watts and I caught it within seconds, so no white smoke this time around.

    It does remind me to turn off the radio when fiddling with connectors
    though. I'm embarrassed to report that I thought I'd learnt that lesson already, nothing like a refresher course in transmitter safety and dumb
    things not to do in the shack.

    Then there was the thing about using remote control. In my naivety I
    thought that the connector that the Yaesu uses for computer control is also used on the Kenwood. Turns out that it isn't. Fortunately I read the manual before plugging that in.

    The Yaesu has a specific digital mode with individual gain and filter characteristics, which seem to be completely lacking on the Kenwood.

    I'm still attempting to learn the differences in receive performance
    between the two. I started this process by running WSJT-X and listening to
    WSPR or Weak Signal Propagation Reports and testing how both radios decode things. I cannot yet do this side-by-side, but for now I can swap and see signals coming in on either radio.

    This is not the first time I've put a different radio on my desk to see how
    it works and it's not going to be the last time. What I'm looking to
    achieve is to swap over from the Yaesu to the Kenwood in my shack, so I can
    put the Yaesu back in the car and have a mobile shack operating again
    because I have to admit, I do miss that.

    What kinds of testing regimes to you have when you're trying out a new
    radio? I'd love to hear your thoughts. My email address as always is cq@vk6flab.com.

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210404.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    Portable experiences ...

    Posted: 27 Mar 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    Last weekend was memorable for all the right reasons. Filled with 24 hours
    of amateur radio, spent with friends, in a park, making noise and having
    fun, marking the first time I recall setting up in a park for that length
    of time with so few extra resources. Normally we'd be decked out with
    tents, or in my case a swag, we'd have camping stoves, perhaps even a
    caravan or two, tables, cutlery, the whole shebang.

    This time we brought none of that. Just radios, antennas, batteries, water
    with a few snacks and folding chairs.

    This was like nothing I've experienced before and it has me asking myself:
    Why did I wait so long to operate like this?

    It was wonderful.

    We spent it being on-air and making noise during a 24 hour contest which is specifically intended to celebrate and reward portable operation. In case you're wondering, the John Moyle Memorial Field Day is to encourage
    portable field day operation and provide training for emergency situations.
    It was created in memory of John Moyle, the long term editor of Wireless Weekly, who served in the RAAF with distinction. He's said to be
    responsible for a number of innovative solutions to keeping radio and radar equipment working under difficult wartime conditions.

    I've participated in this contest plenty of times before. This was the
    first time I did it in a park, in the city, and as experiences went it was fabulous and recommended.

    As you might know, I like operating portable. I've been operating from my
    car for years, from camp-sites in remote locations for just as long and
    I've activated several parks and peaks in Summits On The Air, or SOTA, and World Wide Flora and Fauna, or WWFF activities. I've also set-up during
    field days in local parks and I regularly drive to a local park to get
    on-air and make noise. With that as background, you might ask yourself,
    what is different?

    Let's start with setting the scene.

    The park that we used is located in a suburb about 10 km out from the city centre. It has a river running through it and on the banks there are plenty
    of trees with lawn. Dotted throughout are picnic tables with wooden
    gazebos. All very civilised.

    From a radio perspective, it was RF quiet, that is, no local electrical
    noise, away from cars, from a footpath, close enough to parking where we
    could get our gear out of the car and walk it to the site.

    All that alone would have made for a great experience, but this went beyond that.

    For example, dinner consisted of ordering from the local fish and chips
    shop five minutes away and picking up some amazing seafood. While there collecting some extra water and most importantly dessert from the
    supermarket next door.

    During our activities we had visits from local amateurs. Over the 24 hours
    we had a steady stream of interested hams coming out and having a chat.
    Some took the opportunity to bring food, dips and crackers, thermos flasks
    of tea, even ice cold beer. One amateur came along at the end of our
    activation and helped pack-up. All this made for a very enjoyable social experience.

    Another thing that was different was that the operator could wear
    headphones without stopping anyone else from hearing what was going on. We achieved that by connecting a headphone splitter to the radio, piping the
    audio to some external speakers for local monitoring whilst the operator wearing headphones would not be affected by conversations taking place
    around them.

    We did have some challenges.

    Our logging tool of choice was, for reasons we don't yet understand,
    switching bands which meant that sometimes the numbers we were giving out
    were not sequential. Generally in a contest situation you exchange a piece
    of information in addition to a signal report. In this case it's supposed
    to be a sequential number and because there were multiple operators, the sequence is supposed to be per band.

    The trees provided shade, but were not quite up to the task of being
    sky-hooks able to hold up wire antennas, fortunately we brought squid poles
    for that purpose.

    It was hot. 38 degrees Celsius. It turns out that even though wearing a
    black long-sleeve T-shirt is not a suitable fashion choice from a
    temperature perspective, it was perfect in preventing sunburn and for that
    I was immensely grateful.

    As you might know, we track what we bring in a spreadsheet, one row per
    item. A column for each time we go out. Over time we learn what's used and what's not. Our list is getting better and better.

    I'll admit that I felt some trepidation in relation to this location, but
    I'm so glad that I took a leap of faith and went with the experience.

    What a blast!

    What kind of activities have you been up to that gave you a blast?

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210328.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    The remote edge...

    Posted: 20 Mar 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    The landscape of remotely operated amateur radio is changing by the day.
    Once the territory of home brew DTMF decoders and remote controlled radio links, now more often than not it's a Raspberry Pi with an internet
    connection, or some variation on that.

    Before I continue, I must point out that amateur regulations vary widely
    around the globe, especially in this area. It appears mostly due to the
    rapidly changing nature of remotely operated radios.

    For example, most, if not all software defined radios are technically
    remotely operated. You run software on your computer, the radio is
    connected to a network, you twiddle a setting on your computer and the
    radio responds. The computer is not part of the radio, but without it
    there's not much radio to be had. There's no need for both to be in the
    same room, let alone the same building.

    Similarly, a Kenwood TS-480 and a Yaesu FT-857d are both radios that have a removable face with knobs and a display. The main body of the radio is a nondescript box with sockets for power and antenna, connected to the face essentially via a serial cable that can be a few centimetres long, or a few meters. There's solutions like RemoteRig that replace this serial cable
    with a virtual cable, allowing you to put the face in one location and the
    body in a different one, connected to each other across the internet.

    With the introduction of Starlink internet, a low earth orbit satellite
    based network, a connection to the internet can be made anywhere on earth, making it possible to have your station sitting somewhere far away from interference, powered by batteries and solar panels and connected to the internet. You might not even need to go to satellite based internet, the
    mobile phone network in many places is often more than sufficient for
    making such a station viable.

    If you're a member of a radio club, you might consider your club station.
    Often this station is the work of many volunteer years effort with multiple radios, antennas, filters and the like and often it sits idle most of the
    time, only getting fired up during club meetings or the weekend. What if
    you connected that station to the internet and offered it as a service to
    your members?

    Depending on license requirements, you might consider amateurs who have
    limited ability to build a shack but would love to be on air making noise.
    A remote club shack might be just the ticket for getting them on air. It
    could even become an income stream for your club.

    You might be able to offer access to trainees, or let them monitor the
    station without transmit ability whilst they're preparing for their
    license, or you might operate a 48 hour contest in shifts, all using the
    same transmitter, but from the comfort of your home.

    The landscape is full of different solutions, like RemoteRig, which I've already mentioned, RigPi Remote Station Server is a tiny computer that
    controls your radio and allows you access via a web browser or remote
    desktop connection. There's Remote Hams, a ready made solution for putting
    your shack on air with access control and remote management. You can
    connect specific radios, like the Elecraft K3 Remote System, or a Flex
    Radio Maestro, there's even web browser remote control projects like
    Universal Ham Radio Remote by Oliver F4HTB, each making it possible to get
    on air and make noise using a radio in a different location across the internet.

    All of the solutions I've named make it possible to fully use your radio,
    that means CW, SSB, FM, antenna control and the like. You can use it for
    FT8 or RTTY, the choice is yours.

    The interface might be the face of your radio, a special console, computer, phone or a tablet and you can operate it wherever and whenever the mood
    takes you.

    No longer do you need to have a shack in your home with coax snaking
    through the walls to an antenna whilst dodging the local authorities, or fighting the engine noise from your car. You can make the ultimate shack anywhere without taking up space in your home or car.

    One final comment. This is a moving feast. The level of functionality is increasing by the day. For me this journey started with a steel toolbox in
    my garage with a radio inside it and coax running from the box to my
    antenna. I have operated my radio and hosted my weekly net like this. The
    radio in the garage, me in my office connected via Wi-Fi over a virtual
    serial cable. You don't need to start this in the middle of nowhere, six
    hours drive over the back roads to fix a problem, you can start this
    project today at home.

    Where on this journey are you and what issues have you come up against? Let
    me know. My address as always is cq@vk6flab.com

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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